Umar Nurmagomedov, the 24-year-old undefeated cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib, is reportedly set to make his UFC debut on the January UFC 257 fight card topped by the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Speaking to TASS news agency, Kazakh fighter Sergey Morozov said that he will fight the 12-0 Nurmagomedov on the January 23 card likely to be on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi.
Should that happen, it will mark the first time that McGregor and a member of the Nurmagomedov family will have been in or around the same space since the now infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl.
“I will fight Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC 257,” Morozov stated.
Bantamweight fighter Umar will enter the UFC much like his older cousin did – without a loss on his record. Also like Khabib, Umar’s record displays several submissions and unanimous decision victories, suggesting that he employs a similar type of strategy to his world champion kin.
So far the results have spoken for themselves but having blooded himself on events for promotions like Gorilla Fighting Championship and the Professional Fighters League, the time has come for the biggest stage of them all.
And it doesn’t get much bigger than a Conor McGregor fight.
While the Nurmagomedov-McGregor rivalry hasn’t been stoked much since the Russian champion announced his retirement from mixed martial arts last month, it is clear that acrimony lingers – with some questioning whether Umar Nurmagomedov’s proposed presence on the card might lead to a rekindling of the rivalry.
It is unclear if Umar, who is a frequent training partner of Khabib’s, might invite his elder cousin to corner him should he end up at UFC 257 – but if he does, you can expect to hear a lot more in the coming weeks about that particular subplot.
Umar was originally scheduled to make his UFC debut alongside Khabib on ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 254 but was forced to withdraw through illness.